Bixby’s sad story and SJRAS’ hope for its happy ending

Last week, one of Vineland’s animal control officers walked in with a little dog that, somewhere under all the grime and piled up rugs, was supposed to be white and fluffy. I was out of the building when he arrived but got a call asking if I knew any groomers who could handle an emergency.

I immediately went back to the shelter to check on the little guy and see what could be done. It’s hard enough to get a grooming appointment on a whim, but as soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to take hours, making it possible to find some an even more difficult one.

In my many years here I have shaved many matted dogs myself; but I had never seen anything like “Bixby”. The fur on his legs and paws had accumulated for so long that it had hardened and looked like he had casts on all four.

One leg and paw were so bad they were completely encapsulated from the shoulder down. He had a drop of hardened black wax and infection residue the size of a racquetball stuck under his right ear. You could barely see his eyes behind the mats and rubbish covering his face and muzzle. His ears alone must have been incredibly painful and there was no doubt that he would have to be sedated to shave it off.

After:SJRAS’ Step for a Pet is a success; the next step is the plant, bake and garage sale

After:Volunteers wanted to transport pets for South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter

Once we sedated him and started to really examine his condition, it became clear that he had some serious infections underneath the whole mess. His one ear was so bad under the hardened discharge ball that it was raw and some of the tissue in the ear had been eaten away since the infection had gone untreated for so long.

Signs of further infection on his legs and paws began to appear as we made strenuous progress removing the matted “casts” on his legs. It became clear that the labor was too extensive and the infections too severe; he should be transferred to a veterinary clinic to safely cut mats, debride necrotic tissue and treat infections.

Bixby is finally rid of all ugly mats and the horrible buildup of infections. He is an older man who will need some serious attention to help him recover from what must have been years of neglect.

We will look for a foster home, an adopter or a shelter who would be ready to welcome him and give him the care and love he so desperately needs.

For more information on Bixby, contact the shelter at [email protected]

Shelter needs: Canned dog and cat food, canned tuna and sardines, catnip, dog treats, peanut butter, simple cheeses, paper towels and gift cards for pets and groceries.

Shelter Event: SJRAS and People for Animals will present a TNVR Community Workshop at 3 p.m. on May 14 to share the value of “Trap, Spay, Vaccination, Return” programs and teach caregivers and concerned community members how to be part of the solution to the outdoor community / feral cat population problem.

Attendees will not only learn how to trap and care for community cats, but they will also learn about the services offered by SJRAS and PFA to help with these efforts.

For more information, visit

Address of the shelter: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

For more information on foster care, visit

To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]

For more information about SJRAS, call (856) 691-1500 or visit or SJRASVineland on Facebook.



Bixby is an 8 year old male poodle mix. See today’s article for more on this darling boy.

Tweety is a very sweet 5 year old pit bull terrier. He’s an easy-going guy, walks well on a leash, and is smart and caring.

Ricardo is a friendly and happy one year old siberian husky. This handsome boy is waiting and hoping for a forever home.

Magnum is a bouncy, happy yearling pit that has lots of energy. He knows how to sit and is very fond of treats, which will help him in his training. He is young and will need someone who can spend time with him, teaching him basic dog manners. Right now he’s jumping on people and getting very excited, so he’s not a good match for a house with young kids.

Layla is a darling 2 year old pit mix. She’s smart and fun and super friendly. This little girl loves attention!

Howard is a large 83-pound, pit, and Great Dane mix. He is a calm boy, cautious in nature and slow to warm up. Once Howard relaxes and gets to know you, he’s a sweet dog with lots of love to give.

Spartan is a friendly 4 year old pit bull terrier. He is a nice boy who will make a great companion.



To meet Greta! Greta’s human died so now she finds herself at the shelter. This beautiful 3 year old has lived with other cats and dogs without problems in the past and is looking for her new humans.

Meet two amazing kittens, Bailey and Fixes, best friends of 2 years, inseparable. These two ended up at the shelter because their human could no longer take care of them. They would like to be adopted together. What’s better than a cat? Two cats!

Pretty Matilda wonders why she is at the shelter, wouldn’t you like to take her home?

When you tell your family you’re going to pick a flower and you come home to a pretty young girl named Hyacinth.

Morris is a shy boy who loves scratching his head and spoiling himself. He’s at Millville PetSmart.

Kona is the most laid back senior guy you will meet. He is extremely affectionate and will follow you everywhere. He has spent time in a foster family and is good with cats, dogs and children.

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